How many of you get stiff, physically achy, tired, and unmotivated at work? In a previous blog, I listed off some ideas for altering your work environment throughout the day to help reduce back pain and improve posture. This blog is for those of you who are interested in taking your work activity to a whole new level… hourly challenges.
If you find yourself stuck in one position for hours on end, you have to start getting your body moving. You will increase the longevity of your body and get your blood flowing, which will probably increase your productivity at work.
With these challenges, be sure to have fun! Be creative and perform movements and exercises that you are willing to do every hour. The suggestions I will give are to help support postural strength, but you can choose to do whatever comes to your mind!
An Endless Number of Challenges
*Take 2 minutes out of every hour to do something active!!!*
You could do 2 minutes of jumping jax or running in place or, if you don’t want to be too disruptive in the office, work on holding a plank (image to the right) for up to 2 minutes. Another option would be to stand on one leg for 1 minute while moving the other leg around in circles in front of you… working on balance and glute strength.
Run/Walk up and down the stairs in your office or up a hill. This will definitely get the blood flowing. Stand against a wall (left image below) with your heels, butt, mid back, shoulders, elbows, hands and head pressed against the wall. This looks simple, but it is brutally hard to hold for 2 minutes. Hold a 1 minute pigeon (middle image below), or hip flexor stretch (right image below) on each side.
Every hour, complete 2 minutes of squats (left image below) to a depth that you are comfortable with (to your chair or lower). Perform a 2 Minute Super Man hold or rock it back and forth (middle image below). This is another great way to strengthen your postural muscles. Wall Angels (W’s) look easy… keep your butt, mid back, shoulders, and head against the wall while you bring your arm down the wall into a “W” shape (right image below). This is excellent for strengthening the mid back and offsetting your upper back “roundedness.”
Do 2 minutes of alternating lunges either standing in one place or walking. Drive the knee out slightly to engage the glutes, not just the quads! Press-ups are gentle and amazing for relieving back pain from sitting excessively!
Be creative! Make up some on your own that fit with your work environment. If you are worried about looking ridiculous in the office, your coworkers will get used to it and hopefully they will adopt some of your challenges. If you get everyone in the office on board with a 2-minute challenge, you could see who can hold the longest plank, squat the most in 2 minutes, etc.
Speaking of challenges, if your physical potential is limited because of back pain, sign up for the CaliSpine Challenge and move past pain relief!!